The stories of the novel Krik? Krak? by Edwidge Danticat presents a journey that is forced on to the larger part of the characters of each story. This journey is one that others force onto them for they are persecuted by others and forced to leave their homelands for protection and their own safety. This journey is one of fleeing from a tyrannical harassment, never to return home, as opposed to that of a luxurious vacation trip. The forced journey of these characters particularly in the story “Children of the Sea” evokes simultaneous attitudes of love and hate in all characters affected. Hate stemming from the oppressive nature of the journey and love for those left behind or completing the journey; with the unknown nature of the journey ahead, there is not much more for the either sides to contemplate.
The story “Children of the Sea” depicts the love of a boy and girl through their compiled letters after they are separated by the boys forced journey. Having spoken out against the government who was after him, he is forced to flee Haiti to save his life. The focus of the story becomes that of the hateful persecution entwined with a story of love. “I cannot even see the sea. Behind these mountains are more mountains and more black butterflies still and a sea that is endless like my love for you,” (Danticat 29) expresses the girl in one of her letters. This passage presents a sweet morbidity, for she expresses her love for the boy all the while stating that this keeps him away and imply his death. She cannot see the sea and thus where he is but they are divided by mountains and black butterflies who speak of his death yet she still has love for him. It is an oppressive situation which begins the forced journey yet love which ends it.
The boy traveling expresses this love himself before the ship he is on sinks making him a child of the sea. He writes to the girl, “Maybe the sea is endless. Like my love for you,” (Danticat 15). Having been forced into this voyage beyond his homeland, the boy still expresses a love and hopefulness as he rights to the girl he loves. It is their love that becomes the focal point of the journey rather than the oppressive conditions they are subjected to as expressed in the letters. Love is simultaneously tied to the hate and abuse that is brought on by the government officers creating the need for the journey. Love is the connecting force that allows for redemption of the journey stemming from oppression. It is also love which allows for the outcome or end of the journey to be worthwhile, even if the characters are not able to be together, their love binds them with the possibility of being together beyond the journey that is life.
It appears that a journey forced out of hateful persecutions, produces a sort of love quality for those who have to take the journey or are affected by loved ones taking the journey. A journey forced under negative pretenses can be considered redeemable through the love involved between the people affected. Also love then transcends this sense of a hateful nature which becomes the force behind the journey. It is these contrasting ideas that arise in order to make a negative situation into a positive one and the idea that winning can be accomplished through love rather than hate.